Natural disasters bang up Vietnam’s economy
  • By Thao Nguyen | dtinews.vn | September 13, 2013 03:14 PM
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Vietnam is estimated to lose around 1.5% of GDP annually due to property damage caused by natural disasters, one official has said.


Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat speaking at the seminar 

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cao Duc Phat, made the statement at the seminar on Vietnam-Japan cooperation in natural disaster prevention and control, which was held this morning, September 13, in Hanoi.

Phat said, “The country’s efforts in natural disaster prevention and control have helped reduce the number of fatalities. However, property damage costs have tended to increase in recent years, now accounting for around 1.5% of the country’s annual GDP.”

Statistics showed that in recent years natural disasters tend to occur with greater frequency and so damages continue to rise. This is suspected to be a result of climate change.

Typhoon Linda claimed 778 lives, left 2,123 missing and 1,232 injured while causing property damage worth USD593 million when it raged through Vietnam’s southern region from Bac Lieu to Ca Mau Provinces in November 1997.

In November 1999, several floods struck the central region from Quang Binh to Ninh Thuan Province, causing 600 dead and missing and property losses worth USD270 million.

Floods in the Mekong Delta region in November 2000 caused property damage worth USD280 million. In October of the same year, floods also caused losses of USD140,000 in the northern province of Lai Chau.


Natural disasters cause serious property damages to Vietnam annually

According to Phat, the government of Vietnam is trying to take measures to enhance its capacity for natural disaster prevention and control, and cooperation with foreign partners like Japan is part of the effort.

During the meeting this morning, September 13, Vietnam and Japan have signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in natural disaster prevention and control through 2020.

“We really sympathise with the difficulties that Japanese people have experienced during recent earthquakes and tsunamis. We greatly admire the Japanese people who are very tenacious in the reconstruction process. We want to learn from Japan about how to improve natural disaster prevention and control,” Phat said.

Ohta Akihiro, Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, said, “After the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 we received a lot of support from the Vietnamese government and people. Now we want to do something to pay tribute to your country.”

He said that Japan has succeeded in developing technologies that help with dam re-enforcement by using a satellite database. He hoped that the application of such technologies would help enhance Vietnam’s capacity in natural disaster prevention and control.

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